Luke 10:1-12, 16
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house
and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom
on that day than for that town….
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me
rejects the one who sent me.”
Our Lord said: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”
He also warned us: “And you will be hated by everyone because of my name” (Mark 13:13) and “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you” (John 15:18).
So it shouldn’t surprise us that Christians are being persecuted across the world and even in First-Amendment America:
- The world:
- In 2016, 90,000 Christians were martyred, making Christianity the most persecuted religious group in the world.
- In the Middle East, Christianity is on the verge of extinction, the persecution and slaughter of Christians a genocide.
- Here in the supposed United States of America:
- Christian bakers, daycare workers, videographers, teachers, high school, college and university students, Salvation Army bell-ringers, are persecuted.
- Christians are censored by social media, discriminated against by homeowners’ association, called just as dangerous as Muslim jihadists, assaulted by the Obama administration U.S. Air Force, and mocked by Hollywood (Fox TV and Netflix).
- The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces.
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office.
- In fact, according to a 2017 report, the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under “we are no longer just a Christian nation” President Obama.
But for enduring the world’s hatred and persecution, we are told to “rejoice” because “your names are written in heaven”. (Luke 10:18) As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:
Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
See also “Without baptism, we are abandoned to the wolves”.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,